Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Offering of Letters Skit: How Many Grocery Bags Does it Take to Feed the Country?

Photo by Flickr user  S.³

The following is the script for an excellent skit about the Offering of Letters campaign presented on May 13 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Edina, MN. It was written by Martin Fergus, to go along with a grocery bag demonstration created by Cathy Brechtelsbauer and Tammy Walhof. This demonstration has been used throughout the Upper Midwest and Plains. Consider using a similar skit at your own church to promote Bread for the World's 2012 Offering of Letters campaign

SCENE:  Two long, church tables are on stage a few feet apart, one toward stage-right with 20 empty grocery bags on it; the other toward stage-left is empty.  Rebekah stands at one end of the stage-right table, filling a bag with groceries to be delivered to the local food pantry Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People (VEAP). Dan enters from stage-left, in front of the tables while Rebekah (Bek) continues to fill a grocery bag.

DAN:  Hi Bek.  What you doin’?

BEK:  Packing up groceries from the congregation to take over to VEAP.

DAN:  How much do you think you’ve got?

BEK:  I’m not sure. Last March, during the Minnesota FoodShare drive, we collected more than 100 pounds.

DAN:  How well did VEAP do with that drive?

BEK:  Great.  They met their target – 100,000 pounds of food and $100,000.

DAN:  Wow, that’s a lot!

BEK:  Yeah, and statewide, Minnesota FoodShare took in more than 4.4 million pounds of food and almost $8.5 million as well!

DAN:  That’s impressive!  Too bad that some of this might be undone by what’s happening in Washington, DC.

BEK:  What do you mean?  What’s happening in Washington, DC?

DAN:  Well, the House of Representatives is proposing to make deep cuts in food stamps and other nutrition programs. That could really make things tough for the people served by food pantries like VEAP?

BEK:  Why?  How would that affect VEAP?

DAN:  Well, cuts would mean more people needing help from VEAP – and fewer resources to do so, since part of VEAP’s food comes from federal programs.

BEK:  But if there are cutbacks, couldn’t VEAP just have another food drive?  And couldn’t we up the amount of food we collect here at Calvary?

DAN:  Well, look at it this way.  How many bags do you have on that table?

BEK:  I’ve got 20 of them.

DAN:  OK.  Now assume that these 20 bags represent all the food provided to those in need by both private giving and federal programs.  How much do you think is provided by each?

BEK:  Oh, I don’t know.  VEAP and Minnesota FoodShare sure get a lot of support – look what they did in just in one month – and there are groups like that all over the country.  Maybe half the food comes from private contributions and the other half from the federal government?

DAN:  You mean sort of like this?  (Dan places 10 of the bags on the empty table.)

BEK (looking at the bags on the tables):  Yeah, that looks about right?

DAN:  Want me to show you the actual numbers?

BEK:  Well, OK.  If you’d like to.

(Dan moves nine more bags from Bek’s table to the other table and looks at Bek.)

DAN:  Just 5 percent of the food for those in need comes from private donations; the rest is from federal nutrition programs.

BEK:  Wow!  I never imagined.  What will people do if the federal nutrition programs are cut?

DAN:  Yeah, what will they do?  But we don’t have to let it happen.

BEK:  What do you mean?  What can we do about it?

DAN:  There are groups, like Bread for the World, that are organizing letter writing campaigns – to ask Congress to put a “circle of protection” around federal nutrition programs.  Would you like to learn how you can get involved?

BEK:  Well, I’d like to know more about it first.

DAN:  That’s fine.  There’ll be an information table at coffee hour today – why don’t you stop by?

BEK:  OK, I will!  I’ll see you there!

DAN (turning to the congregation):  If you’d like to learn more, why don’t you stop by too?

+To learn more about our campaign to preserve funding for programs that help poor and hungry people, or to participate in your own Offering of Letters campaign, click here.


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